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The paper describes and analyses the work of Knut Angstrom, physics professor at Uppsala University from 1896 to 1910. Angstrom's research focussed mainly on radiation measurement. His magnum opus was the so-called electric compensating pyrheliometer, a device for measuring the heat content of radiation, for instance to study the energy distribution in spectra. The instrument was launched as a finished product around 1900, rapidly enjoying a widespread use, and thus elevating the Uppsala department to the status of standards institution, i.e. an institution setting and upholding technical norms in a well defined scientific area. This status was acknowledged in 1905, when the International Union for Co-Operation in Solar Research assigned the Uppsala department the task of controlling standardisation in this area of solar research. The paper analyses Angstrom's technoscientific style in its institutional setting, showing in particular how it facilitated the creation of a scientific community of solar researchers, with Uppsala as its administrative centre.

Affiliations: 1: Uppsala University


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